Parise says that the Devils have a chance even if they don’t sign him by the time he would reach unrestricted free agency on July 1.
“If that does happen, my agents have done a really good job of doing the best they can to prepare me for it. But first and foremost, we want to try to get things worked out with New Jersey,” Parise said. “I know the perception would be, ‘Oh, he wants out.’ But that’s not the case. I haven’t been lying. I’ve said all along how much I like playing in New Jersey. So that wouldn’t be me saying, ‘I don’t want to play there anymore.’ ”
Fair or not, people – particularly Devils fans – might see it that way if Parise bolts for another city.
Making a deep postseason run should certainly help New Jersey’s chances, but when teams like the Penguins (allegedly) gear up to bring you in, it might be hard to turn such a chance down. Still, Parise insists that it’s far from a done deal.
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It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.